Today’s story comes from Alex from lamb and bear ..
Thank you for sharing!
Let’s start with my due date. Saturday 16th March 2013. Nope, no baby. So I booked to have a sweep the next day.
On the Sunday morning my midwife came to my house so I could have a sweep. I’d heard mixed reviews about them. Some say it works some say it doesn’t. Some say it hurts, some don’t feel a thing. For me, I’d rather try and it not work, then regret not trying it at all.
My midwife was pretty honest with me, she told me if she was to do it right, it would be uncomfortable. And it was. Really painful (I know, if I thought that was painful, wait until I was in labour!), apparently I was 1cm dilated and she predicted bean sprout (Lambs name when he was in my belly) would be here within 24 hours. Yikes.
Guess what. She was right!
Around 4am Tuesday morning I woke up with mild contractions. Joe was at work so after an hour of counting fairly regular contractions I text him to let him know. He was home by 6:30am and I could sense he was full of emotions. Fear, excitement, nerves, more fear.
By 7:30am the contractions were around 5-6 minutes apart and lasting around 30 seconds. They were getting quite painful so I called the hospital to let them know I was in early labour.
I’m sure you know already, but one way of knowing how serious your contractions are is by the tone of your voice while talking on the phone. The midwife will listen to you carefully and if you don’t have a contraction while on the phone they will tell you to stay at home (according to what my midwife told me!)
Surprise, surprise I was told to stay at home. To be fair, in the 7 minutes I was on the phone I didn’t have a contraction, so it’s understandable. They told me to take some paracetamol for the pain and take a bath to relax. Come on, we all know paracetamol and baths don’t do anything for labour pains. I mean, seriously, we take paracetamol for headaches, not labour pains.
Well, on with the story. After a couple of hours using my (useless) tens machine, and the pain getting worse I called the hospital again. They agreed to let me go in for some stronger pain relief and to be checked over.
I arrived at the hospital around 12pm. There was no one available to see me so I had to wait in the waiting room. Not ideal. By now my contractions were really strong and I was fully into breathing slowly and deeply to get through the pain. It was a little embarrassing, especially when a grandmother to be came in to wait for her daughter to give birth.
After what felt like hours I was finally seen by a midwife. The pain was getting unbearable, so surely I was ready to give birth. Nope. I was 1cm! 1 teeny tiny centimetre!
‘This baby won’t be coming for at least 24 hours. I suggest you go home and rest”. What? Are you kidding me?! I was practically fainting between contractions. I could barely stay awake. Joe was my knight in shining armour. He refused to take me home and demanded we were allowed to stay to be monitored. It worked. My hero.
The midwife allowed us to stay for an hour, and would check again to see if my labour had progressed. 2 hours had gone and I was really struggling. I wasn’t hooked up to any machine, I hadn’t been checked and I had no pain relief other than paracetamol.
The next part was pretty scary. I felt a sudden gush, my waters hadn’t broken at this point so obviously that came to mind, however it wasn’t water, it was blood. I put my hand between my legs and looked at my fingers. I didn’t have the energy to panic. I just gently shouted Joe to call a midwife (again). He panicked. There was a lot of blood.
The midwife finally took my labour seriously. I will never, ever forget the look on her face when she saw the blood. To this day I still don’t know what caused the bleeding. I had no explanation. The midwife checked me and I was 7 cm! In the space of 2 hours I had gone from 1cm to 7cm! Ouch!
Finally I was offered pain relief. I felt so neglected, but I was too weak to complain. I immediately asked for an epidural. The contractions were just too powerful for me to handle anymore. To my dismay the midwife informed us there were no free beds to have an epidural – I have since been informed this would not be the case as an epidural can be wheeled to you. Did I mention I wasn’t in a proper labour suite? So they were able to use this as an excuse.
Instead I had pethidine, which at the time felt like it did nothing, however after talking with friends they told me it makes you sleepy, and as I was falling asleep between each contraction, it was obviously working its magic.
The rest of my labour is a bit blurry. Each hour rolled into the next. I had a new midwife by this point, who was amazing and I want to find her when I’m in labour again! She was the most gentle, caring person I’ve met and was so reassuring and complimentary. There’s nothing better than being told you’re doing an amazing job when you’re in labour with your first baby.
I remember at one point the midwife needed to examine me, as she was about to do her stuff I felt a contraction; she patiently waited until it was over. I looked up at Joe and the midwife sympathetically looking down at me and I just smiled and apologised. Don’t ask me why I felt the need to say sorry for making her wait to examine me! She just replied “you’re fully into labour and you’re still smiling, you’re doing so well”. It’s little moments like that that have stuck in my mind. Which I am very grateful for. She was so caring; my memory of labour isn’t tainted with the pain.
Ok, so let’s wrap this up. After a quick (unsuccessful) trip to the toilet, having a contraction whilst sat there and realising gravity was working its magic, the midwife suggested I change positions.
Sometime later (I really couldn’t tell you how long) I gave birth to my Little Lamb weighing 6lbs 12oz on all fours at 19:57pm on Tuesday 19th March 2013. He was handed to me through my legs so I could see him the moment he arrived and that memory will stay with me forever. My purple (ish) coloured, slimy bundle of joy.